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American Poems: Books: Boy in the Water
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 Home » Books » Boy in the Water

Boy in the Water

  • List Price: $6.99
  • Buy New: $1.57
  • as of 12/28/2014 21:35 EST details
  • You Save: $5.42 (78%)
In Stock
  • Seller:Biblioteka
  • Sales Rank:3,314,244
  • Languages:English (Unknown), English (Original Language), English (Published)
  • Media:Mass Market Paperback
  • Number Of Items:1
  • Pages:448
  • Shipping Weight (lbs):0.4
  • Dimensions (in):6.8 x 4.2 x 1
  • Publication Date:July 15, 2000
  • ISBN:0312975228
  • EAN:9780312975227
  • ASIN:0312975228
Availability:Usually ships in 1-2 business days

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Editorial Reviews:
Synopsis
A masterful psychological thriller, from the author of The Church of Dead Girls.

Another bucolic fall in northern New Hampshire, and the semester is under way at Bishop's Hill Academy. But this year the start of school has been less than tranquil. The new headmaster, Jim Hawthorne, has liberal ideas that the staff find far from welcome. He's also determined to do something about the long "tradition" of permanent loans to faculty of shovels, saws, even cars, from the school's supplies. Eloquent as he is on the subject of honor, rumor has it he's only taken this job to escape his past. And Hawthorne isn't the only uneasy newcomer. There's Jessica, a former stripper at fifteen, and Frank LeBrun, a replacement cook who's a bit too quick with a dirty joke. All three have secrets to conceal, memories to suppress.

Serene on the surface, the ivy-clad, tree-lined campus gives few clues to the school's history of special privileges, petty corruptions, and hidden allegiances. But as autumn advances, the affable smiles and pretenses of virtue wear thin. And as winter closes in, students, teachers, and staff get an education in savagery and murder. With his customary uncanny awareness of the intricacies of human nature, the acclaimed author of The Church of Dead Girls once again probes the daily life of an ordinary community to reveal the depths of good and evil.
Amazon.com Review
Although not as complex or as haunting as his 1997 novel Church of Dead Girls, Stephen Dobyns has produced a first-rate psychological thriller with Boy in the Water.

Bishop's Hill Academy in rural New Hampshire is a school in crisis. Once a highly regarded preparatory school for the rich and elite, it is now a dumping ground for troubled teens. The teachers are unqualified, unenthusiastic, and spend more time hitting the students than educating them. A new headmaster, Jim Hawthorne, enters the chaotic scene, but is immediately outcast from the tight-knit faculty. Hawthorne is obsessed with the idea of turning the school around--and we soon find out why. His family died in a fire purportedly set by a disturbed teenager back in San Diego. Mentally and physically scarred, Hawthorne sees Bishop's Hill as an opportunity to get back to "physical reality," and save some adolescent psyches. But it is his own mental state that is soon put to the test as he becomes the nucleus of a hate campaign and is forced to relive the terrible memories of the fire.

It seems that everyone in the school has a secret to hide--from the cook Frank LeBrun who enjoys placing sharp tacks in his recipes to Chip Campbell, a history teacher who has taken one too many liberties with the school's funds.

Dobyns paints a foreboding landscape of dilapidated buildings and neglected children--a place where a 15-year-old girl plots to kill her father, a place where teachers abuse students, a place where a young boy is found dead in a swimming pool. As a snowstorm cuts off the isolated community, the exiled headmaster is forced into a final showdown with the school's omnipotent evil.

Boy in the Water is an entertaining but ultimately disturbing read. --Naomi Gesinger


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